Why Should I Care About Ferguson Missouri?

Greetings WWW,

There might be someone who asks, “What is Ferguson Missouri? ” “What is there to care about?”  Well…. 1st off Ferguson Missouri is a place in the mid western region of the US.   What took place is the reason so many major news outlets in the US are now shining a light on a problem deeply engraved in American culture.

On August 9, 2014 an 18-year-old black male named Michael “Mike” Brown and his 22-year-old friend Dorian Johnson visited Ferguson Market and Liquor shortly after noon.  The exact details around what happened inside of the store are unclear but there is an ongoing narrative and investigation.  A Ferguson police officer responded to a call made by a customer alleging there had been a robbery.  Responding to the robbery was a “white male” police officer who shot the young black male “Mike” Brown multiple times and he was “unarmed.”  There have been a total of 3 autopsies and a myriad of investigations surrounding this particular incident.   So many things took place after this incident that I would need multiple blog posts to go into detail.  ( Please see info on Mike Brown or Ferguson MO via search engine of your choice)

If you are a regular visitor to this site, you know that the atmosphere is very open.  There’s a glossary literally giving real definitions of race and even discussion surrounding the terms and why they are important.   What I’ve come to notice is that people really aren’t interested in the biological factors and definitions.   If solving our issues were as easy as teaching someone terms we would no longer have a problem.  People want to know about the everyday interactions  with family, relationships, friends, co-workers and etc.  But why should people who aren’t racially “black or African-American” care about this incident?  Why would people who are racially “black or African-American” care?   Part of the reason there’s a misunderstanding about “why” is that “mainstream media” does an absolutely poor job of covering the depth and complexities of racism.  There’s race, ethnicity, culture, colorism and an eternity of other variables.   Most of the time the only incidents that you hear about is when someone who is famous is “intentionally racist.”  The fact that there is structural and institutional racism that is the very thread of America is often ignored.   There is a systematic approach to covering what “seems” to be important rather than what we should actually be paying attention to.   I’ll bet that no one has turned on the news and heard terms like, “structural racism or institutional racism.”  Often you’re only going to hear individual occurences of “racial profiling or voter suppression and other personal prejudices.  There’s this term “minority” that everyone who is “non-white” has heard to describe themselves.  It seems to just toss all the crabs into a bucket except for the “blue” ones.

This individual occurrence, although it’s one of many very unique incidents that happen everyday, allows the world to actually take a look at structural and institutional racism.  Individual groups with specific collective interests can then decide how Court rulings will affect them.   We need that collectivism.  Because this incident has garnered international attention, it’s hard to ignore that there will be lingering conversations and opportunities to focus on the root causes of racism.  It effects everyone differently but there are effects.  For the people who check “other” as their race, it could be a very unique affect, but it’s almost guaranteed to reach you on a personal level because more than likely you could be “non-white” exclusively.

As this project grows and more collaborations are made I hope to shed a unique light so that we can see where and how the faces of particular demographics are represented.

Please take a look and listen to the narrative from a reliable source that is representative of your values.   I’m certain you’ll find that the narrative if reliable will illustrate that structural and institutional racism is far-reaching.

XOXO,

MarjorieIam

 

 

 

The North Carolina History Project

The Civil Rights Movement was an effort, among many things, to overturn segregation, commonly known as Jim Crow legislation.  Throughout the Jim Crow South (1890-1960), state laws required blacks and whites to use separate facilities, attend different schools, sit in different places in theaters and buses, and even to be buried in different areas in cemeteries—to draw only four illustrations from various cases.  As early as the 1930s, African Americans protested these laws.  In Greensboro, black ministers boycotted the War Memorial Auditorium’s opening, and young people there started a theater boycott.  Lumberton youth marched to protest a lack of educational opportunities.  Meanwhile during the twentieth century, municipality leaders, including Charlotteans, used local ordinances to create residential segregation.

The Civil Rights Movement, as it commonly known, began in the 1950s.  In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Brown decision, and schools were ordered to desegregate.  For some time North Carolina avoided compliance, with various creative ideas such as the Pearsall Plan.  Meanwhile in the 1950s, North Carolina blacks started what would become known as sit –ins.  In 1957 seven blacks, for example, demanded service in the white section of a Durham ice cream parlor.

In 1960, a series of events occurred in North Carolina and began the Civil Rights Movement in earnest.  The Greensboro Sit-In occurred in North Carolina, and this demonstration gained national attention and set an example for others to follow throughout the Jim Crow South.  Four N.C. A & T State University students walked to the downtown Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, sat in the white section of the store’s restaurant, and demanded service.   In time, more and more students started protesting in Greensboro and protests spread to Raleigh.  In the capital city, Shaw University and St. Augustine’s College students carried out sit-ins at various stores.  At other time, college students picketed stores.  Picketers, in one instance, were arrested at Cameron Village.  Although storeowners initially resisted accommodating the blacks, they eventually complied for legal and economic purposes.

Several organizations helped organize and energize the Civil Rights Movement.  The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sponsored the Freedom Rides in 1961; black and white bus riders boarded Greyhounds and Trailways buses and challenged segregation on the buses and in the bus stations.  In North Carolina, the riders experienced no violent resistance.  The following year, the organization led a successful campaign against Howard Johnson’s restaurants.  During the mid-1960s and under the leadership of Floyd B. McKissick, a Durham attorney, CORE embraced black nationalism. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), like CORE, evolved into a more confrontational group.  Ella Baker of Raleigh trained students to live in the rural South and to participate in task forces assigned to educate rural blacks and register them to vote.  In the mid-1960s, student enthusiasm waned for the nonviolent approach, but under the leadership of Stokely Carmichael, student interest revived as the organization promoted black nationalism and black power.  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a legal arm of the Civil Rights Movement, worked to ensure that the law was applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.  Reginald Hawkins was a prominent leader.  Kelly Alexander reorganized the Charlotte NAACP chapter and emerged as one of the Tar Heel State’s leading civil rights leaders during the 1950s and 1960s. Ministers led the Southern Leadership Conference (SCLC), an influential organization that consistently employed nonviolent means.  A well-known North Carolina SCLC leader was Golden Aros Franks; he led various protests in eastern North Carolina towns.

Although Kenneth R. Williams served on the Winston Salem Board of Aldermen during the late 1940s, North Carolina blacks, as a voting bloc, lost political power during the late 1890s and lacked political power, until the passage of national legislation such as the Voting Rights Act.   After blacks regained their suffrage rights, more and more blacks could run for political office and were elected to public office.  Others were appointed to public office.  Henry E. Frye, for example, was appointed to the North Carolina Supreme Court and became the first African American to serve in that capacity.

“The Race Representative”

Greetings World Wide Web!

The blog part of this project had grown cobwebs.  I’m wiping them away and picking my pen up again.  It’s not without some hesitation.  If you are a dreamer and doer, I think you can attest to the fact that when you give birth to an idea so many things, people and circumstances present themselves to, I assume make sure that you’re serious about the journey.  Today I want to talk about a detriment to the world of peace; the pest to the conversation of diversity and inclusion.  The race representative!  We’ve all met them.  The person who takes it upon themselves to speak for their entire racial, cultural or ethnic classification.  They act as though they are the gatekeepers of what is, what’s accepted and even if you are accepted by their entire classification.  The racial representative is a self-proclaimed job!  You’re not voted in, you just appoint yourself.  When the race representative speaks, they assume the place for all of us, we, them, they, nosotros, vosotros……you catch my drift.  What’s worse is that the majority of the people with this position that I’ve met are extremists.  Their individual representation leaves no room for individualism.  I’d almost given up my dreams over “race representatives”  When I began my journey of discovery; actually trying to experience people of different races & cultures, I was met by many representatives.  I was even confronted by race representatives of my race.  I’ve been told that, “I’m not “black enough” or I was lost or somehow confused about the entire world now because I don’t see things as they do.   Some of the race representatives were amazingly open and welcoming and others were guards with a keep out sign.  I guess you can say I was naïve about what it actually takes to mingle between races and cultures.  My being in an interracial, multicultural relationship carry the worse scars of all, but they made me want to stand up and find solutions.  Had I let some unfavorable experiences be even how I receive or understand an entire classification of people, I probably wouldn’t have acted.   After regaining my courage, and having some rock star experiences with other people of the same racial and ethnic classifications, I realized that I had only met someone who felt in their heart that truly their thoughts, experiences and opinions represented the collective.  This is so far from the truth in EVERY race, culture and ethnic people.  Recognizing that in many countries, especially ones like the US, where there is just a melting pot of people, and so much depends on what group you belong to foster this type of behavior.  You truly HAVE TO pick a side.  As the world is becoming increasingly more and more diverse, in growing numbers you’re finding people wanting to express their individuality.  People want a voice, and they don’t want to be forced or told what to think by the main stream.  What do you do when you have a child that is now both of their very different parents?  History in many countries have made people pick sides, like the One Drop Rule in the US and so many others around the world that are similar.   In my case, I checked the box “Other” on everything that I could find for my children.  I wanted to express and go deeper into who they are.   My journey has introduced me to countless, very diverse people who select the same classification for many reasons.  I listen attentively as they tell me stories about “race representatives” who particularly unfavorable ones, have discouraged them to discover diverse worlds and people.  To the colorful seeker and diverse person, I say, you now have a name for this person.  The next time you meet a “race representative” just smile and know that this too shall pass, and rocking awesome people await!

XOXO,

Others’Mother aka MarjorieIam

“Por UNO Pagan Todos”

Hello WWW,

So the title!?   I know that it may look foreign to some people.  You may wonder if you clicked on the wrong page.  I’ll make sure to explain it.  Have you ever walked into any setting and been the only person in the room that looks like you, or representative of your race, culture or ethnicity?  In a world that is at least leaning towards now giving lip service to the concept of diversity, singular situations are becoming more common.  I’ve been in this spot a few times.  At times its been purposeful.  Partly because of the explorer inside of me, and because I’m interested in things (music, food, locations, etc) that are outside of the limits of what stereotype and mainstream dictate.  This can happen to anyone.  There’s not a race, culture or ethnic prerequisite.  As a member of an interracial family, I have to tell you the first few years of interactions with my in-laws were BRUTAL!  I made it to a point where hatred was being born in my heart I promise.  This is not an easy place.  I’m going to paint a quick picture for those unfamiliar.

You are a black (woman/man) walking into a room with only caucasian (or other different) people.  Someone walks up to you and begins to start one of two conversations; one that involves Barack Obama or fried chicken.  Every question is asked with the expectation that you can answer for THE ENTIRE BLACK RACE and all it’s participants good and bad.  You begin to attempt to explain by gently opening the door to a world that is just as diverse as the birds in the trees with its individual sets of opportunity and obstacles.  You realize you’re talking to someone who doesn’t have an earthly concept of what you’re mentioning.  Instead they address you with a demeaning behavior and make it brutally clear that they believe you should act and react the way that media has told them you should.  They start neck popping, quite horribly, speaking slang, and talking about “black people” as if it were a meat label.  If you get upset because of “their” ignorance then you’re an angry black woman, further feeding the furry of ignorance.   Ignorance is not derogatory here, it’s truly not knowing.  This can also happen if a person had ONE bad experience with someone who represents your racial classification.  You must pay!  You are them, and you have the same ideas, and are a replica.

The title is ‘por uno pagan todos”  It is a phrase in Spanish used quite often that says, “Everyone pays for one.”  Does everyone carry the weight of an entire racial/ethnic classification on their backs?  It’s amazing that one bad interaction; the person who cut you off in traffic or was mean to you in high school, can dictate how someone receives and entire group of people.  This also happens when someone has never had an interaction and only knows what they’ve been told by people and media outlets.   There are many rhetorical theory that say in bulk that we even gather & congregate with people who see interactions through the same lens.  The only way to break down walls is to trust that one person can NEVER carry the weight of their race of their backs.  I want to encourage everyone reading this to give a new person another chance.  This time leave the rhetoric and bias at the door.  I promise you can have a different, and even life changing experience.

Until the Next,

Others’Mother /  @MarjorieIam

 

An Overdue Happy New Year!

Good Afternoon,

Don’t you just not like visiting blogs where they haven’t been updated in like forever!  Me too! I’m  guilty as charged, if there’s charging.   In my defense, I’ve been off gaining experience and building relationships that will be beneficial to We Check Other.  I’ve started a radio show that showcases and really digs into this conversation.  It wouldn’t help to tell you that this Tuesday is the last show on the existing network.  It’s not the end though, it’s the beginning.  I can hardly wait to report what is next.  My hope is to commit to bringing engaging content weekly!  Preferably on Sunday. (working mom)   Please accept my reintroduction to this passion, and an overdue Happy New Year!  Learning, growing and conversation awaits!  We’ll get to it!

XO,

Others’Mother

Are You Mexican?

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Good Mornoonevening World Wide Web!  Each Tuesday Evening at 9 pm EST we hold a chat on Twitter picking a unique, question, answer or topic as it relates to the people, family, friends and children who are biracial, multicultural, or multiethnic.  The topics can be anything.  I welcome you to even submit your topics at info@wecheckother.com  to open up the discussion lines.  We have a full hour on Twitter where your opinion, laughs and at times facts are welcome.  Tonight the question that will be discussed is, ” Are you Mexican?”  Join in the discussion @wecheckother on Facebook & Twitter

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Bi-racial Black, The New Face of Black America?

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Hello World Wide Web,  Welcome to We Check Other.  I tried to find a picture that had as many bi-racial Americans on it as possible.  Don’t quote me on each of them, but they look pretty accurate.  Each person on the collage above is bi-racial.  Taking the focus briefly away from well-known bi-racial Americans to just regular popular culture and media.  Visiting a store in America and I’m sure maybe around the globe in some instances, if you pick up a Pampers box, cereal box or just any normal item that a person buys; normally there is a fair-skinned child with large soft looking curls on the front.  I visited a beauty supply store recently and while walking down the natural hair aisle with products for “black women”, observing the front of most of the bottles, even perms, I noticed there were fair-skinned young woman with large loose curls that are more parallel to the face of someone who is actually biracial.  Just from a preliminary look at what’s popular in music, time after time there are women and men, who are quite popular who are daughters and sons of white mothers and black fathers and even vise versa.  What makes the post topic  relevant is that MOST if not all of them, proudly proclaim they are ONLY black.

I’m not saying that the people above or even in popular culture are wrong in their affirmations.  Most people are aware of something called the One Drop Rule.  It’s not a fantasy.  It’s real.  In most states it was enforced by law at least until the 1980’s or so.  A person owning up to 1/32 black heritage was qualified has black only regardless of father or mother race.

The One-Drop Rule is a historical, colloquial term in the US that a person with any trace of sub-Saharan ancestry, however small or invisible, cannot be considered White unless the person has an alternative non-White ancestry they can claim, such as Native American, Asian, Arab, Australian Aboriginal; they must be considered Black.

What a blow! So anyone else can mix with white and even become “white”?  The answer in plenty of cases is yes, or at least enjoy white privilege.  Of course this law is applicable for claiming “white” as your race but what about Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern with a mixture of black?  Are the rules the same rules? Can you no longer solely belong to the parent group now being mixed black? Then there’s the component of ethnic & features; such as Middle Eastern, or Asian. The strength of their exclusive features can exclude them as well. Passing?  Depends on how you look? Maybe? If you look too ethnic no, if not; lucky you? Maybe. I’m not sure but I would love someone who knows to chime in.

Bringing it all in, so most of the people above were born before 1980.  Their reality was the one drop rule/law.  They didn’t have a choice.  Of course these ideas are also the baby boomer generation and the ones that follow who have the majority of wealth and control in the US and abroad.  This keeps the ideas of what was and how it should be is alive and well.  If you’re mixed black, then you’re black.  Mixed is a concept that doesn’t exist, of course until the Census threw it into the Algebraic human salad in the year 2000 saying, yes you have a choice.

What about the Y generation and beyond? Which is 1980 births and beyond it I might add.  The new census? People being able to at least describe their full heritage, even if they aren’t yet recognized that way by the world.   Will generation Y be the trend setters? “Big dreamers!”   Most people in this generation aren’t exposed to the realities that once were.  If they are it’s because they’re  being taught.  From a sociological perspective we all learn from our parents and environments.  Now with record immigration, and the official striking down of the one drop rule, and Loving vs Virginia, the opportunity for people to love, marry, simply have relationships and even adopt across racial borders are a reality.   We see the world changing and becoming more and more diverse before our eyes.  As a matter of fact a few of the people listed above have children that no longer even “look” black at all because of who they love and married.

What do we do?  Is the solution to continue to pass off bi-racial people as black only?  Even after the rules are no longer applicable.  I think there’s a universal fear of all bi-racial people being carted off to misfit land and not being able to claim how they feel in their soul.  If a person feels black only then by all means they should be allowed to live there.  In fact if they were born before the rules changed, lets not go reversing rules.  BUT if we are to move forward as a country, then we should start having real discussions about the new rules and the identities of children and adults that now hang in the balance because of them.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Please join the conversation.  Every Tuesday night @ wecheckother on Twitter beginning at 9pm EST we will hold a one hour chat discussing topics like this and so many others.  Please use hashtag #wecheckother & #letstalkrace to participate and join in.

Until the next,

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Diversity! What does it mean to you?

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Hello World Wide Web.  As I dream about a conversation; one that can entertain the uniqueness of the growing individual.  The one that is not defined by a race box, or cultural description.  Single and Pluralistic in form, I keep dealing with this pretty little word called “DIVERSITY”   I just ask what does it mean to you?  When you hear someone say, they teach or practice diversity.  I even saw a quote that said, “Diversity is not a choice, and inclusion is??” Really? Then why is there always a fight on the adult playground?  It’s amazing, that laws change, and then the expectation of, “go now, and everybody play nice” means that someone is actually being diverse.  When we’re young we go to school; make friends, even develop crushes.  Sometimes they don’t look just like us.  I remember my first crush.  He certainly didn’t look like me but I thought he was dreamy!  We talked in school, hung out….at school, and then went home to separate worlds that would never cross.  Did that make us diverse?  How do you get there?  We have all these divided islands and no bridges.  That’s the vision I have most times when I hear somebody talking about bringing people totally different together.  Where’s the bridge?  The relationship?  It takes more than a conversation to consider ourselves diverse.  It’s listening while the person speaks in passion of what you may not agree with and vowing not to change them.  Accepting their individuality. Interracial relationships; people who don’t fit perfectly into “the norm”  Do we have it?  Can we pass societal norms?   I’d like to know what you think.  Chime in below.  Do you have an idea or a vision to affect diversity?  The world needs you!  The safety of the adult playground depends on it!

Thanks for stopping by.  The conversation is going to start on Twitter and I would enjoy the thoughts of open minds and hearts @wecheckother.  Don’t forget to like the facebook page.

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Racism. Can everyone practice it?

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Good Morning, Afternoon & Evening World Wide Web!  Today I’m going to look at briefly the concept of racism and give an opinion on a conclusion as the result.   In a world where privilege is attached to capital and finance, and good fortune is directly misfortune for the rest of the population, racism and equality become a variable in the equation.  Federal taxes for the wealthiest .01 percent have fallen from 51% to 26% over the past 50 years.  Class place has a significant impact on all well-being, & it is directly tied to racism.  The disparities in performance metrics shown everywhere from the public school systems to the distribution of wealth and access support that racism is by design the system where by access is afforded to one group.   By definition racism is a system of advantage tied directly to race.  In the U.S. racism perpetuates an interlocking system of institutions, attitudes, benefits and rewards that are designed to serve “white” people.  This is also piggybacks “white privilege.”  where some otherwise would be minorities are given opportunities by just claiming race & not ethnicity just because of skin color.  Identity is always a subject of discussion that can go down a man-hole, but overall white privilege is one of the main components of racism.   The standard of beauty where Disney literally just created a princess that black & brown little girls can even remotely compare features & even skin color with puts every person other than white at a disadvantage for even beauty and self-image from the beginning of their being rendered and liking the “girly doll”   Anyone who is afforded white privilege grows without the mental disparity of being taught they are a “minority” or “less than” their entire lifetime.  When someone is told, or even tells themselves something enough, the thought takes occupancy.  So I’m led to believe that the term racism becomes obsolete when used to describe minorities.   Can one practice racism without the benefit of the opportunity that is automatically given?   The very construction of race is a system of oppression that determines how power, privilege, wealth and opportunity are spread.    We’re talking about the most genius mind game of all times.  Better than any gaming system ever created.  The very existence of “racism” bestows an advantage that not everyone can take part in.  If you’re not a party to the given advantage, are you actually practicing racism?  Now let me just say, I know there are mean-spirited people of all races and ethnicity.   This is not my go scream at someone that you’re not a racist but say something derogatory permission slip, but this is saying how can the system of privilege by which racism and white supremacy; that is a system of advantage, be practice by all when the advantage was created for white people?  That was a mouth full.  Let me sum it up.  It is my belief, based on this information, that minorities are incapable of practicing racism when there is no direct benefit for doing so.  I would agree with bigotry, egocentrism, even hatred in some instances, or possibly the lashing out towards inequality; but racism? I’m not so sure.  Let me know what you think.  Chime in below.

As always thanks so much for stopping by.  Remember to find the public page on Facebook & Twitter @wecheckother

XOXOXO,

Others’Mother

Race, Do you REALLY have a choice?

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Hello World Wide Web!  I want to share with you where my journey has recently taken me.  As my children continue to grow and become school aged, I’m really being placed into an atmosphere where I’m actually examining first hand the selection of race and ethnicity.  My daughter is now in kindergarten, and my three-year old has entered a pre-school program.   I know I’ve shared this but just for reference, my children are in my eyes, African-American & Latino.  I didn’t know until recently that a final determination of how our school systems view our children depends on their father’s race or ethnicity.  My children’s father is Latino.  When my daughter started pre-school, I entered her race on her school application as “Other” and proceeded to explain in the area beside that box, my race and her father’s ethnicity.  After reviewing her records, I found that her race was changed to Indian, and her ethnicity, Latino.  I thought, do we really have a choice?  Can we truly give an explanation of our children’s background?  Recently, entering my son into a pre-school program; I was advised of the same information.  That his race was determined in our school system by the race of his father.  In essence, now the system is telling me, as an African-American woman, that my children are now Latino/Hispanic.

I want my children to embrace all of their identity.  The fact that they aren’t allowed to and even forced into an institutional box for statistical purposes shows up on my radar with big alarms going off.   Now there are people who have a father that is African-American, and find being placed by their father is ok.  I think the choice should be a personal choice.  The problem is that it is not.

When I take my daughter to school daily, I watch a man enter with his three children.  He has two girls and one boy.  He is white and his children from their appearances seem to be what some would refer to as just “light-skinned” black.  As a white “man” I wonder how he feels that the rule does not apply to him. That the male race rule could never apply just because he is a white man.  I often want to stop and talk to him and just ask.  That’s a unique perspective that I have yet to gather.

We have a box on the US Census called “Other”, that generally Latino, biracial, and even people who fit comfortably with a race, but belong to an ethnicity other than the social norm like Italian, Jewish etc. check to show themselves uniquely.  I’ve even spoken to an African-American man who said he checks the box “OTHER.”  I met a woman who appeared to have African descent, and a man from Haiti, recently at dinner who informed me that they “do not” place themselves as African-American or Black, because they are not.  I find that most people self identify, but do we really have a choice of racial and ethnic identification?  Chime in & share your experiences & information below.

As always, thank you so much for visiting.  Please be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter @wecheckother

Until the next,

XOXOXO,

Others’ Mother

MultiRacial, MultiEthnic, MultiCultural Community! "PEOPLE" without RACE boxes.

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